COVID-19

SA records 3,246 COVID-19 cases as hospitalisations surge to 102

Premier Steven Marshall addressed the South Australian public today with the latest information on the evolving COVID-19 situation in SA.

A total of 3,246 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in South Australia, the first time SA COVID cases have surged well above 2,000. Current hospitalisations have also continued to climb, with 102 individuals in the hospital, 12 of which are in the ICU and one individual on a ventilator. It was further reported during the press conference that 30 to 40 per cent of COVID cases in hospitals are not fully vaccinated.

South Australia’s prison population has also increased to 128 testing COVID-positive.

Marshall stated that he believes the jump in cases is a “flow on from New Year’s Eve”, with the Premier saying that South Australia had the second-lowest increase in cases across the nation proportionally, increase 25 per cent in comparison to the 80 per cent reported by other states. It is estimated South Australia will reach its peak COVID cases later this month.

Marshall acknowledged that today’s cases are an “uptick” from the reported cases yesterday, the Premier was pleased to report that the cases at Women’s and Children’s hospital remained at 5.

January 3 saw 20,856 tests across SA processed, and Marshall thanked the South Australian public for coming forward to receive tests.

Prior to today’s press conference, private pathology service Clinpath announced the closure of four testing sites across the state to prioritize testing in Aged Care facilities. The four testing clinics include St Mary’s, Smithfield, Gepps Cross drive-through and Aldinga – where testing wait times ballooned to 6 hours as of 10:20am this morning. four locations will be closed until further notice.

Marshall said that Clinpath has been doing an “outstanding job since day one”, and believes that SA Pathology will successfully fill the gaps left by the temporary closure of the four sites.

Marshall also said that South Australian’s should continue to take advantage of the online booking system for COVID-19 tests, instead of sitting in the car. Further, he encouraged SA’s citizens to use testing facilities other than Victoria Park.

“I know it’s hugely convenient…but there are many other sites that have much shorter delays,” said Marshall.

Further, the premier reported that there was a substantial increase in vaccinations yesterday as vaccination clinics continue to re-open and people head back to work. Marshall continued to encourage those eligible to get their booster shoot to do so, with plenty of opportunities for appointments opening up. It was also stated that new sites will be opening in the coming weeks to meet the demand for booster shots and vaccinations for those in the age bracket 5-11 years old.

On the topic of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATS), Marshall announced that South Australia had secured a total of 10 million tests, with 250,000 arriving into the state today. Marshall said the RATS are “absolutely crucial for use right across vulnerable settings across SA”, while also helping ease the pressure PCR testing wait times. Further, Marshall stated that RATS will not be used as a replacement for PCR tests for close contacts, saying our systems are “nowhere near that.”

RAT tests are “freeing up resources” and additional stress placed upon pathology services, as they can now be used for testing requirements for travelling interstate and for asymptomatic individuals.

The seventh support package for businesses bearing the brunt of current COVID-19 restrictions has started to be delivered today. Marshall said that a total transfer of $10 Million will be delivered to the bank accounts of over 3000 businesses hard hit. In particular, this applies to fitness, hospitality and tourism businesses that have struggled to remain open through the busy season.

Focusing upon the state’s response to children’s return to school, Marshall said he would prefer to have a national approach to the decision as Term 1 inches closer. Nevertheless, he stated that he “appreciates face-to-face learning is better for our young ones, but we need to balance it with the health risks” to both staff and students. For parents concerned about their children, the best thing to do is ensure they are fully vaccinated. Individuals in the 5-11 age bracket will be eligible for TGA-approved vaccinations come January 10.

Speaking on the recent news that Leader of the Opposition, Peter Malinauskas testing positive to COVID-19, Marshall remarked that he is a “pretty stoic individual” and that “our thoughts are with him at the moment.” It was also further confirmed that Malinauskas has mild symptoms and is currently working from home.

As of January 3, 2022, 88.0 per cent of South Australians aged 12 and over have received both doses of a TGA approved vaccination. A total of 92.6 per cent of SA residents 12 and over have also received their first dose.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, please seek testing as soon as possible.

Find your nearest testing site at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDtesting.

More information is available at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacttracing.

For more information visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/ or call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.

SA HEALTH LISTED COVID-19 EXPOSURE SITES:


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